Johanna Heidorn – Latin America June 2019 Update


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“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:14-21

Greetings to you all,

I bring you good wishes from LAC where we see the wealth of His glory all around us. There has been a whirlwind of activity and we are working through the busiest two months of the year.

A few highlights:


  • In Mexico City the pastors of the Lutheran Synod of Mexico, and men in training, gathered for a Luther Academy conference along with fellow missionaries. They had an opportunity to delve into an intensive course on eschatology instructed by missionary Pastor Brian Gauthier. The group also enjoyed worshiping together along with members of San Pedro Church for an Ash Wednesday service led by Mexican Pastor Benjamín Quezada.

    • I had the chance to visit all three church plants in Mexico City and attended a service at San Pablo Iglesia while the congregation welcomed guest Rev. Nilo Figur, the director of Lutheran Hour Ministries in Latin America. Following the service, the congregation had a time of fellowship together.


  • Theological courses support the formation of pastors, deaconesses, and other church leaders who are greatly needed in this country. These courses have helped double the number of ordained Lutheran pastors the past few years. In addition, there are currently two young men studying at Concordia the Reformer Seminary and over ten men in online programs. The number of pastors in five years could be more than 20.

Puerto Rico

    • In 2017, Hurricane Maria wrecked havoc in this US commonwealth, and the LCMS responded with a significant disaster response effort. Bags of relief supplies were distributed, roofs were rebuilt, and classes in English and music have been offered. As a church, we can contribute to those in great need. The ministry in Puerto Rico is focused on mercy and fellowship. Rev. Dr. Ross Johnson of Disaster Response said, “We as a Lutheran church are not moving on…we are here to stay as an anchor in the community.”


  • The biggest FORO ever in Puerto Rico was held in Mayagüez. Representatives from seven partners met for meetings, strategic planning, and worship. They had the opportunity to tour neighborhoods of the island that were affected by the hurricane and see some of the roofs that have since been put on homes. The team is approaching their goal of outfitting 100 homes with new roofs this year.

    • We celebrated the baptism of Sara and the confirmation of her and her husband Manuel with the congregation of Principe De Paz (shown above). The couple had been visited by evangelist William Torres through the Disaster Response roof project and are now members of the church – a great example of what God does despite disaster. We also rejoiced in the dedication of the Cristo Para Todos Las Naciones office situated next to the church and the CARD Mercy Center.


  • Iglesia Luterana Fuente De Vida in Ponce, Puerto Rico installed its new missionary Pastor James Neuendorf. Our Puerto Rico FORO partners were there to witness the occasion alongside the congregation which made it particularly special. After the service, they had an opportunity to see a prospective new church building site. This new property would allow for expansion, and is close to most members’ houses in downtown Ponce. We ask that you keep Fuente De Vida in your prayers and that the Lord’s Will be done as the process of negotiation continues.

  • God has opened doors for our missionaries to do evangalistic home visits in a governmental housing compound. At the compound, we met a man named Edgardo (shown above), who became blind later in his life. During our first visit with him, he nervously sat and listened to the Gospel and lessons from our missionary pastor. As the visit continued, we learned that he had been abandoned by the protestant church he was once an active member of after becoming blind. He explained how alone and neglected he had been feeling for years. Edgardo had tears in his eyes as the pastor explained that Jesus died for his sins, has a heart of grace and love, and never neglects us. We invited Edgardo to hear more about Jesus’ love at our church in Ponce. The middle photo below shows him in attendance for Palm Sunday. Please pray for Edgardo, that he will soon see his Savior with eyes of faith. We rejoice that he may continue to grow in certainty and come out of the shadow of devastation and darkness because through Jesus comes new life and new beginning.

  • A particular delight on my trip was having the opportunity to meet Christopher Becker, one of my faithful supporters from Minnesota, and his family at the FORO. I am so grateful to have seen the ministry our Lord is doing in this area and to the PR team for hosting me.

Dominican Republic

    • The newest church plant in the capital of the DR, Iglesia Luterana Pan De Vida, held a VBS where kids participated in songs, prayer, crafts, and outdoor activities all focused on the life and death of Jesus.


  • The churches all celebrated Easter service with baptisms and confirmations. We give thanks to our Creator for faithfully growing His church.

  • By God’s grace, the Lutheran Church of Pueblo Nuevo in Santiago outgrew its former space and relocated a few blocks away. The church celebrated their first Divine service in its new location, which had previously been a disco club, this past month.

  • In Palmar Arriba, 20 deaconesses and students from across the Dominican Republic gathered for an intensive on “Divine and Service and the Life of the Church,” a course with Concordia Seminary the Reformer. We have over 115 deaconesses in the program across Latin America.

  • Venezuela’s economy continues to crumble and in May we held the Venezuelan FORO where 16 pastors from across the struggling country came for study, worship, relief supplies, and medicines. We cannot even begin to understand the devastation and struggles these pastors, their families, and their members are facing within the country. We must continue to diligently pray for support of the people and the pastors of the Iglesia Luterana Venezuela in this economically depressed country. Take a look at this recent article on the Venezuela Crisis and the churches response.

    • Pastors, presidents, and other leaders of Lutheran churches, their seminaries, and Bible Institutes from 19 countries across Latin America and the Americas gathered together for the II Theological Symposium and Mercy Conference at the Seminario Concordia el Reformador in the Dominican Republic.


  • On Friday, May 24, eight men from the Seminario Concordia el Reformador graduated. Our residential and online student graduates come from all over Latin America including Bolivia, Venezuela, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. Five men were sent out on vicarages to Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Guatemala. Praise God!

Over the last few months I’ve done a lot of design work and have been able to create presentations on the work in LAC, videos, and a new regional logo.

This month I will return home to celebrate my twin sister Gretchen’s wedding. I am extremely blessed to have the chance to be with my family and friends during this joyous occasion.

At the end of this month I will go on assignment to Guatemala. While I am there, I’ll be working with one of our mission partners, LeadaChild, which is an independent Lutheran Mission Agency dedicated to sharing the Good News of Jesus’ love to children through Christian education in third world countries. I’m excited and blessed to have the opportunity to join them for a symposium with the children and educators of our Lutheran schools. I appreciate their kind generosity in funding my trip there.

As always, I am incredibly blessed by each of your efforts in sharing the love of Christ to the people of Latin America and the Caribbean. We are incredibly blessed to continue welcoming new members into the church. God bless and thank you for your prayers. If you are interested in following along on more activities around the region, please follow the LAC Facebook page.

More soon,


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